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Context: According to the Union Chemical and Fertilizer Minister, India is aiming to manufacture 44 crore bottles of Nano Urea annually by the year 2025. He said, nine plants will be set up across the country to achieve the target.
- India is on the verge of a breakthrough in the field of agriculture with the introduction of Nano Urea, a liquid fertilizer that can replace conventional urea and enhance crop productivity. Nano Urea is a product of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), which has developed a nanotechnology-based process to produce urea molecules in liquid form.
- According to the Union Chemical and Fertilizer Minister, India is aiming to manufacture 44 crore bottles of Nano Urea annually by the year 2025. He said, nine plants will be set up across the country to achieve the target. He said, Nano Urea has an 80% urea absorption rate by crops, compared to only 30% in the case of traditional urea.
Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO)
Nano Urea: A Game-Changer for Indian Agriculture
- India is one of the largest consumers of chemical fertilizers in the world. However, excessive and imbalanced use of fertilizers has led to several problems, such as soil degradation, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced crop productivity. Moreover, the country is dependent on imports for meeting its demand for urea, the most widely used nitrogenous fertilizer.
- To address these challenges, the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has developed a novel product called Liquid Nano Urea (LNU), which is claimed to be the world's first nano-fertilizer.
- Nano Urea is a liquid formulation that contains nanoparticles of urea coated with a biodegradable polymer. It can be sprayed on the leaves of plants, where it is absorbed and utilized more efficiently than conventional urea.
- Liquid Nano Urea is made by converting urea into nano-particles and suspending them in water.
- One bottle of Liquid Nano Urea (500 ml) is equivalent to one bag of conventional urea (45 kg) in terms of nitrogen content.
- It can be sprayed on crops using a sprayer or a drip irrigation system.
- It has a shelf life of three years and does not require any special storage conditions.
- Liquid Nano Urea can reduce the consumption of conventional urea by 50%, saving farmers money and reducing the subsidy burden on the government.
- It can enhance crop productivity and quality by providing a uniform and timely supply of nitrogen to plants.
- It can reduce soil degradation, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions caused by excessive use of conventional urea.
- It can contribute to the goals of sustainable agriculture, food security and climate change mitigation.
Nano Urea has several advantages over conventional urea
- Nano Urea has an efficiency of about 80%, compared to 25% for conventional urea. This means that less amount is required to achieve the same or better results than conventional urea.
- Nano Urea is cheaper than conventional urea, both in terms of purchase price and transportation and storage costs. It saves water and energy by reducing the need for frequent irrigation and cultivation.
Improved plant nutrition
- Nano Urea enhances plant growth, yield, and quality by providing a balanced and timely nitrogen supply. It prevents lodging, which is the bending over of stems near ground level that reduces harvestability and yield.
Reduced environmental impact
- Nano Urea minimizes the leaching of nitrogen into groundwater, which causes eutrophication and contamination. It reduces the emission of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and climate change.
Issues that need to be addressed
- The regulatory framework and quality standards for nano-fertilizers in India are still evolving and need to be harmonized with international norms.
- The awareness and adoption of Nano Urea among farmers need to be increased through effective extension services and demonstration trials.
- The safety and efficacy of Nano Urea on different crops and soils need to be evaluated through rigorous scientific studies and monitoring mechanisms.
- The potential risks and benefits of Nano Urea on human health and the environment need to be assessed and communicated transparently to all stakeholders.
- Liquid Nano Urea has the potential to revolutionize the fertilizer sector in India and beyond, but it needs to overcome the challenges mentioned above.
- It needs to be supported by scientific research, policy interventions, market linkages and social acceptance.
- It needs to be integrated with other best practices of soil health management, crop diversification, integrated pest management and precision agriculture.
- It needs to be evaluated for its long-term effects on soil health, crop yield, quality and resilience, human health and environmental sustainability.
- Nano Urea is a revolutionary product that can transform India's agriculture sector by improving crop productivity, profitability and sustainability. It is a proud achievement for India's scientific and cooperative community, as it showcases their innovation and collaboration. However, there is still a need to create more awareness, availability and acceptance of Nano Urea among farmers, so that they can reap its full potential and benefits.
UREA UNDER NBS REGIME: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/urea-under-nbs-regime
Q. What is the main advantage of Liquid Nano Urea over conventional urea?
A) It has more nitrogen content per unit volume.
B) It can be applied through drip irrigation or foliar spray.
C) It reduces the loss of nitrogen due to volatilization and leaching.
Which of the following Statement is/are correct?
A) 1 and 2 only
B) 2 and 3 only
C) 1 and 3 only
D) 1, 2 and 3
Explanation: Liquid Nano Urea has a higher concentration of nitrogen than conventional urea. It can also be applied through drip irrigation or foliar spray, which reduces the labour and water requirements. Moreover, it reduces the loss of nitrogen due to volatilization and leaching, which improves nitrogen use efficiency and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.